4 Challenges Legal Teams are Facing in 2023

Two lawyers discussing legal challenges

With the threat of recession, businesses need to be more discerning than ever about their costs for legal services. Companies that take a proactive approach will demonstrate how legal creates value during challenging markets. High-quality counsel delivers impact while meeting a tightly-monitored budget — a historically difficult task when you look at the high costs of in-house or retainer-based counsel.

1. Bloated data and technology ecosystems don’t comply with changing privacy laws

Whether your company is in the tech industry or not, nearly all companies are navigating how to manage sprawling layers of personal and private customer data. New laws around data and privacy paired with frozen budgets will require business leaders to make difficult tradeoffs. The ACC’s Key Findings 2022 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey revealed that chief legal officers view cybersecurity, regulation and compliance, and data privacy as the top issues they’re encountering. 

Essential enterprise tools from CRMs to ERPs may have previously gotten all the attention, but a decade of growth-mandated spending has driven information into less scrutinized technology that regulators will no longer accept.

Ensuring your business is compliant with all new state and federal laws requires upkeep and experienced legal advisors with expertise in these areas of the law. But, managing a measured reduction of sprawling technology requires advanced knowledge of how to address the underlying business challenges. Companies with only in-house counsel or external experts without in-house experience risk exposure when it comes to the ever-changing privacy and cybersecurity landscape without the right partner in the wings.   

2. Legal staff are burning out — and leaving companies unprotected

From layoffs to retirement or outright career shifts, professionals in the legal industry are on the move. Though hiring, onboarding, and sustaining a new in-house attorney is an option, you may need more time or resources to get them up to speed. Burnout is a significant factor in why lawyers are not just quitting their positions, but often leaving the practice of law altogether — recently, as many as 80% of in-house lawyers reported being stressed or burned out

Whatever the reason, departing attorneys can leave companies in a precarious position amidst economic uncertainty, aggressive business targets and increased regulation. Because many businesses are unaware of other options, they look to pricey law firm retainers or inexperienced staff augmentation services to fill their gaps in coverage. However, these can take time to onboard and may require additional expertise to meet companies’ needs.

3. Law firm fees are rising far faster than inflation

Traditional law firms operate on a retainer basis. While this can often bring significant expertise and flexibility to companies in growth mode, it can also be a budget-busting option. When attorneys work to drive their billable hours, their interests don’t align with a company’s cost-containing goals. According to data from Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, a legal analytics company, the hourly cost for a law firm partner averages around $728 per hour. And even associate prices have increased rapidly in recent years, with associates billing an average of $535 per hour.

4. Economic turbulence calls for legal services you trust — but at what cost?

As economic uncertainty percolates, it’s critical for businesses to protect their downside risk with sound legal decisions. The best way to protect your interests is with a full team of reputable attorneys on your side — but you don’t want to pay for services you don’t need or billable hours that you can’t account for.

Retainer-based services or in-house counsel were previously the only options for companies to obtain legal coverage. Today, a fixed-fee law firm of in-house legal professionals can offer you the quality counsel you need to help your organization achieve business impact efficiently.

Why a concierge legal provider is a smart business decision

Whether in between FTEs or looking for additional support, enlisting a concierge law firm to help with your legal needs is a viable way to access an entire knowledgeable team for each request. 

A fixed-fee legal provider can provide your business value via:

  • A full suite of experienced law professionals backing every engagement
  • Only charging an agreed-upon amount for each completed project
  • Limited client rosters to help build a deeper understanding of your business and how new legislative updates affect your specific industry or market
  • Ensuring you have the protection you need against legal risk

At modCounsel, we believe that companies shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality or work with providers who haven’t scaled successful legal functions. As an exclusively women- and minority-owned firm, we do things differently.

Take a deeper look at how fixed-fee legal services can deliver value for your company

When it’s your business on the line, you need to know your options to make the best decisions for your employees, stakeholders, and financial future. 

To help answer any additional questions about how a concierge law firm can help you prepare for the unexpected, we invite you to explore our recent whitepaper, A growth company guide to managed legal services.

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